Why Being a Writer is Exhausting

I’ve been feeling unusually exhausted lately. Like I wake up, get the cats fed, get my son fed, get him off to summer camp, and start thinking about what I’ve got going on in my day, and by nine o’clock I’m ready to go back to bed.

I know that my intense exhaustion has to do with the unprecedented (for me) amount of stress I’m under. What kind of stress, you say? Well, here’s a snapshot:

  • A Noble Deception is coming out tomorrow, and I’m knee deep in contacting bloggers and book reviewers, and preparing promo pieces
  • A Noble Treason was due a week ago, but my editor has allowed me a brief extension so that I can turn in a manuscript I’m happy with instead of on I rushed to meet a deadline (she’s so great!)
  • I have overdue book reviews for Coffee Time Romance and More, and Indie Author Feature applications to review and related promo to organize
  • I’m struggling to write my own blog posts and schedule my tweets with some degree of regularity (which I’m failing miserably at)
  • As a freelance content writer I’ve just had four 1,200 word articles due that I worked all weekend to complete, and an entire, integrated social media marketing campaign to run for a client (including blogging)

Oy vey! And this is just my writing career. There’s nothing in that snapshot of everything else I’ve got going on in my life right now (which is no small list, I can assure you).

We all know that stress can cause fatigue. There are well-documented studies proving it. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that’s more inclined to say, “It’s all in your head, Veronica. You’re just being lazy!” I’m pretty hard on myself.

This morning I was browsing for new articles on writing, and I came across this one: 7 Writers Share What They Love (and Hate) Most About Their Jobs. As I was reading through the list, I recognized each and every one of these authors’ points in myself, but it was freelance blogger and editor Kelly Gurnett’s response that I most identified with. She said:

It can be exhausting to have a job that relies so much on your own creativity. There are plenty of days where I wish I worked in a widget factory and I could just show up, turn off my brain and do rote work that doesn’t require me to be on my game at all times. I also hate the fact that so much of my mental and emotional energy goes towards client work each day, because I have my own writing projects, [like] my blog [and] a book I’m writing, that I wish I could devote more time towards, but at the end of the day, I’m usually tapped out.

Well if that doesn’t sum up how I’ve been feeling lately, then I don’t know what does. It really is exhausting to have a job that relies so much on your own creativity – I’ve never thought about it like that, but it’s true. Finding that first hook paragraph over and over again for an endless series of articles, maintaining enthusiasm when you’re interviewing people when all you want to do is crawl under the covers and put Downton Abbey on, forging your way through your manuscript even though your brain has turned to mush and you shudder to think how many cliches your first draft has, emailing blogger after blogger to establish just a bit of promo …

superthumbI’m exhausting myself just thinking about it.

I have no words of wisdom with this post, by the way. I just needed a space to vent. What about you? Are you a writer? Have you experienced this colossal sense of exhaustion with your writing career? Tell me about it. Please! Misery loves company, and I need to know I’m not alone in this!

10 thoughts on “Why Being a Writer is Exhausting

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  1. Aww I can somewhat relate, though more on the personal than writing side. Writing fortunately all I have are my own projects and my blog, which isn’t too bad – except that my personal life is insane!

    I’m 29 weeks pregnant, my fiance is desperately looking for a job, we’re desperately trying to find a doctor for once my son is born, our house is a disaster and no where near ready for baby, we have ZERO dollars…. etc etc etc. Fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy, Stefanie! I know it may feel like you’re unprepared, but not to worry, it will all come together one way or another. And on that exhaustion topic, I have one piece of advice which I wish I had taken more seriously at the time … sleep. Sleep now, while you can. Sleep long and hard and enjoy every last second!! And of course, good luck with your blog and your writing projects, too 🙂


  2. I’m an air traffic controller as my day job and am 6 weeks from putting out a self-published novel. With three kids as well and the other parts of life, I feel knackered at times, especially if editing at midnight or beyond. Creativity is rarely a problem but then I don’t write as much as yourself but I can see why it would be. But hey we love to write, don’t we? Enjoyed the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are totally right! If I didn’t love what I do, it SO wouldn’t be worth it. You certainly sound like you’ve got your hands full, too, and I’m glad your creativity is still a source of inspiration for you. That’s always the best. Good luck with your writing and with the release of your novel!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Ik what it’s like cause its a writer’s struggle considering how lost we can get in coffee sometimes. Forgetting the fact that the two need to coincide in order to get the best effect. Its sad that water is an issue these days isn’t it? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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